February 3, 2014

Avua Cachaca - Small-batch Single estate-sourced Cachacas

AvuaCachaca Prata LineUp

We received two samples recently of an amazing cachaca from a small batch single estate source - Avua Cachaca.  Avuá Cachaça Prata and Avuá Cachaça Amburana offer a glimpse into what we can safely call - excellent cachaca. Cachaca is often misclassified as ‘Brazilian rum’ by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and if you have a taste of these two cachacas you’ll know why. 

The two cachacas from Avua are created in two different ways resulting in two very different cachacas. They produce one unaged (Prata), one aged in Brazilian wood (Amburana) – that showcase the vibrancy, nuance and elegance of Brazil.                                                                                                                                                 

Distilled by one of Brazil’s only female distillers using a family recipe honed over three generations, Avuá Cachaça begins in the single-estate sugarcane fields of a small, family-owned farm situated in the rolling hills near Rio de Janeiro. The cane, composed of three specifically chosen varietals, is hand-cut, ground with a waterwheel, and fermented for less than 24 hours using airborne wild yeasts, before being distilled in a copper-crafted alembic still at the distillery located in a long, thin valley between the hills of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais states. 

  • Avuá Cachaça Prata (750ml / 42% ABV / $35.00) – Avuá’s silver cachaça is rested in steel tanks for six months before bottling. The result is a lush, crisp spirit with subtle floral notes perfect for creative variations on spirit-forward cocktails, such as the Negroni or Old Maid, or the famous classic peasant cocktail, the Caipirinha. Slightly bready on the nose with notes of mild lime and citrus, cinnamon and sarsaparilla, it has a clean finish and balanced structure.
  • Avuá Cachaça Amburana (750ml / 40% ABV / $50.00) – Matured for up to two years in casks made from Amburana wood – indigenous only to South America – this wood lends the aged cachaça warm, savory notes on the nose and the palate, ranging from nutmeg and honey to spice and basil. Top bartenders have been inspired to create spirit-forward, stirred cocktails with Amburana – such as those traditionally created with whiskies and aged rums; this aged cachaça is also ideal for sipping, in the vein of a cognac. 

We highly recommend you trying these both out as the flavors are unique and refined. 

More at Avua Cachaca

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

April 6, 2009

Leblon Cachaca Arrives for Review (Again)

leblon bottle shot 1 ok.jpgCheck it out! We just got a bottle of Leblon Cachaca in for review! Funny story - we already reviewed it once, but far be it from us to turn away a bottle of booze.

We've had some success of late in re-evaluating our earlier opinions (check out our Screech retraction), so we're curious what we'll think. We'll let you know!

More about the stuff at Leblon Cachaca

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

February 13, 2008

Beija Cachaca Review

beija-cachaca.jpgWe have to tell you - it's easy to get jaded when you're in the liquor review business. We're sure you wouldn't believe us, especially since we've received gallons on gallons of free hooch to sample and write about, but it can get pretty ho hum to see ANOTHER bottle of vodka or whatever show up on the doorstep. But we had an experience a few days ago that helped us shake off the cynicism and see things in a new light. It's something we should do more often anyway...we actually met the folks behind some of the liquor we planned to review.

The scene was set at the Green Street Grill (this visit renewed our love affair with the place, and we can't remember why we stopped going in the first place), and the booze was Beija, a "virgin cane rum" that's been getting some buzz in Boston. The meeting was with Kevin and Steve, the brains behind the operation, and they'd done some pretty hard work to break us from our natural homing instinct of "drink near bed." So how did the evening unfold, and more to the point, how did we like Beija?

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 24, 2008

Rio D Cachaca Review

Rio D Cachaca BottlesWe're not haters, but there are a few things we dislike intensely here at Liquor Snob. One of them is missing the chance to review some great new booze before a lot of people have had a chance to try it. Another is making mistakes. We're afraid that when it comes to Rio D Cachaca, we did both.

We received bottles of all three varieties of Rio D (plain, lime-flavored, and 'passion') way back in June of '07. Somehow through a SNAFU in the shipping and receiving department, those bottles got lost in the shuffle. (OK, you got us - we put the box somewhere stupid when we moved and didn't find them until recently)

We've finally had a chance to try them and write up our thoughts, but we have one question - did all that extra bottle aging skew the results?

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 24, 2007

RioD Cachaca Arrives for Review

riod-offical-logo.jpgThis just in - flavored liquor tends to be a good seller. Just look at the success of flavored vodkas and rums, and you'll know there's a niche to be filled for just about any kind of flavored booze. One liquor we hadn't thought about seeing move into the flavored field yet was Cachaca, but it appears that day is here already.

We just got in samples of three varieties of RioD, a premium Cachaca that we received in unflavored, "passion" (which we're guessing is passionfruit), and lime-flavored. We haven't had a chance to try it yet, but we're looking forward to reviewing it for posterity. Expect us to make many, many varieties of everyone's favorite drink (well, ok...ours at least), the caipirinha.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 28, 2007

Boca Loca Cachaca Review

We have to say we feel like we're becoming pretty good at comparing Cachacas (y'know, that Brazilian rum we keep talking about?) after having sampled several different brands in the last year. We've had our bottle of Boca Loca for a little while now, and we've finally gotten around to trying it in earnest. After checking out the Boca Loca site, we found the company offers guidelines for how to recognize a quality Cachaca. Our first thought was to wish we'd seen that info a year ago; our second thought was to see how Boca Loca stands up to its own quality guidelines - after all, it's sold as a premium product.

So how did the Cachaca live up to its recommendations? Read on to find out.

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 24, 2007

Agua Luca Cachaca Review

We've already called 2007 as the year Cachaca will take the U.S. by storm, and the bottle of Agua Luca we've got sitting here in front of us is one of the contenders hoping to do so. Marketed as an ultra-premium label, Agua Luca is coming straight from Brazil to your glass - and being filtered 12 times in between.

Read on to find out how Agua Luca measures up to our demanding requirements for whipping up Caipirinhas.

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

May 9, 2007

Agua Luca Cachaca from Heaven Hill

OK, we're calling it - Cachaca is going to be the hot "new" liquor this summer, and the caipirinha is going to be to 2007 like the Mojito was to 2006. Expect to see bigger brands coming out with Cachacas moving forward.

Just call it a hunch. Well, that and we're already seeing it happen. Heaven Hill is going to be the first big name to distribute Cachaca, with an offering called Agua Luca. It'll be interesting to see how the liquor fares with the possible new limelight, considering up until now it's been considered a lesser-known bastard cousin of rum (at least in the States). All we know is Cachaca has a hardcore following and the caipirinha damn near tops our list of favorite drinks.

We've just gotten our bottle of Agua Luca, so you can expect a full review soon to find out if this stuff can go toe to toe with some of our artisinal favorites.

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 20, 2007

Beleza Pura Cachaca Review

CaipirinhaA couple weeks back we got a package in the mail containing two bottles. Within these bottles were two variants of Beleza Pura Cachaca - one the straight deal, and the other a Caipirinha liqueur made with the stuff. We've heard good things about Beleza Pura, so we were fired up to give that a try, but we've had less than awesome experiences with pre-made cocktails.

So how did the two variants measure up to our expectations? Read on to find out.

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

February 20, 2007

How to Make the Perfect Caipirinha

Perfect CaipirinhaThere's something about Caipirinhas we just can't put our finger on - the combination of tart limes with a touch of sugar, capped off with the clean taste of a fine'd be hard pressed to beat it if you ask us. Not quite as frou frou feeling as the Mojito but with a class all its own, we're damn big fans of this Brazilian import. It's even gotten us to give up on our "no fruity drinks" rule...but don't worry, we're no less cantankerous.

If you're wondering how to make one for yourself, check out this video from Fazenda Mae de Ouro's Cachaca Dave over at Caipirinha State University. We can vouch for the recipe and it makes a great drink - it just tastes so good when it touches your lips.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

January 31, 2007

Cuca Fresca Cachaca Review

Cuca Fresca CachacasCuca Fresca Cachaca
Sugar Cane Rum Imported from Brazil
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: About $20 per 750ml for Silver
About $25 per 750ml for Pura Gold

We've been sitting on our review of Cuca Fresca for a little while, mainly just because we haven't had the time to dedicate to writing it up. We've finally gotten our acts together, and jotted down our thoughts on both the silver and gold expressions of their Cachaca. We know you've been waiting with bated breath, so go to town.

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 25, 2007

Frisco Fish Cachaca Review

Frisco Fish Silver & GoldFrisco Fish Cachaca
Sugar Cane Rum Imported from Brazil
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price:
About $15 per 750ml for Silver
About $17 for Gold
Currently available in Texas

We've really been getting into Cachaca lately, which isn't a surprise considering how much we've always liked Rum and they're sort of like distant cousins. In fact, we dig the drink so much we've even started a new Cachaca category so you can check out our coverage of this relatively new liquor to enter our lives.

The latest item on our chopping block is Frisco Fish, a triple-distilled Cachaca that is imported by a company down in Texas. It comes in two varieties - the silver, which is bottled immediately after distillation, and the gold, which is aged for at least a year in oak barrels before bottling. We're starting to see more "gold" Cachaca around lately, and we've been interested in trying them out.

As a little bonus, we've got a few ads that will put some cheesecake in your Caipirinhas; scroll to the bottom of the review to check them out. We have to say the Frisco Fish folks know how to get us interested in their product.

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

October 12, 2006

Cachaca Dave Hits the Big Time

fazenda.jpgFor a while there, we were starting to think we got our wires crossed on the whole Cachaca thing. We'd been reading and hearing all sorts good things about Leblon, but when we finally got a chance to review their Cachaca, it kind of left us cold. Don't get us wrong, it wasn't horrible, but after the glowing reviews we wanted more.

Maybe the reason we were so unfazed by the whole Leblon thing was the fact that we'd tried Fazenda Mae de Ouro cachaca before we had our first sip of Leblon. When we compared them we thought it had a cleaner taste, less bitterness, and an overall better Caipirinha experience. So we wondered why weren't they getting similar props to Leblon? Then we remembered that one brand has a multi-million dollar budget behind it, and the other doesn't have much more than the passion and dedication of its importer.

Dave Catania, aka Cachaca Dave, from Fazenda Mae de Ouro is the hardest working man in show business (OK, cachaca business), and it's nice to see him get some recognition like the blurb from Food and Wine magazine that names him a "Tastemaker" of 2006. Check out the snippet - Dave's the third one down - and learn more about the drink that's going to make him the Sydney Frank of Cachaca at

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 6, 2006

Leblon Cachaca Review

Leblon Cachaca
Distilled in Brazil; Aged in France
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typcial Price: About $30 for 750ml

Leblon Cachaca BottleWe've had our bottle of Leblon Cachaca for a couple weeks now, and it didn't really cross our mind to question what "Leblon" meant. A last name? An acronym? We weren't sure. But after digging around through their site for a while (a site that has an overabundance of mail nipples, if you ask us) we found out that Leblon is a "hip, upscale beach neighborhood adjacent to Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro."

Sounds like a cool place to be, but does Leblon live up to its hipster name? Read on to find out.

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Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

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